Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 21, 2019 (SKNIS): Acting Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards said that people-oriented policies continue to be at the core of the Government of National Unity’s progressive agenda.
Minister Richards made the statement during his remarks on the occasion of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce’s (CIC) Annual Private Sector Banquet held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on Saturday, October 19, 2019.
“In our first four years, Team Unity is putting our people and our country first, by arresting the fall in living standards and reversing the decline of our economy. Our approach has brought our country together and shown the power of togetherness. It’s an approach I hope can be taken globally as well,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richards. “We are healing the wounds that have divided the people of our twin islands. Our resolve is to build lasting bridges of cooperation and partnership between both our islands. We have achieved this by pursuing a roadmap to bring equity, fairness and development to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” he added.
Minister Richards who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister said the approach taken by the Team Unity Administration to place people first and grow the country has positioned St. Kitts and Nevis at a high level.
“Our progressive and fresh approach has set the Country we love on the right direction, to take our place on the regional and international stage. God has blessed us with two precious islands. He has made us a strong, resourceful and resilient people, and he has bestowed on us a drive and ambition that are necessary to safeguard and capitalize on all the gifts, talents and opportunities that He has given us,” Minister Richards said.
He added that the cooperation of everyone is needed to “maximize our potential for the benefit of all our people.”
The acting prime minister spoke to the strong linkages between social welfare and economic growth, noting that “…the Team Unity administration has moved St. Kitts and Nevis forward by leaps and bounds – and forward on we shall continue to go, looking backward only to assess and appreciate how far we have come.”
The Honourable Shawn Richards mentioned the days when there was 17 percent value-added tax (VAT) on food, medicines and funeral expenses. The Team Unity Administration removed VAT on these items in April 2015.
“Those were the days when wage freezes were imposed on our public sector workforce for four consecutive years (2011 to 2014); now, under our administration, we have given them a double salary each December for four consecutive years (2016 to 2019),” said Minister Richards.